Asian consumers are more on the sensorial, expressive side which means they desire products which have more richness (such as in perfumes), more vibrant packaging, and communications to consumers must cut through the competition. This is even more evident in Asian millennials, who are looking for unique products which they can share with their friends on social media. Their consumption is not just mechanically spurred by functional needs; instead, they demand products that fuel their desire for expression, experience and excitement. This means that brands and retailers must be able to provide a unique experience, a product story, and an expression of a lifestyle that these consumers can connect to.
E-commerce has the potential to augment the reach of physical distribution network and help drive a multi-fold increase in revenue, complementing not just competing against traditional business models. Traditional brick-and-mortar stores remain important customer engagement channels for consumer businesses. This will lead to an integration of online and offline channels, which would standardise businesses models and make 'omni-channel client engagement strategy' a common denominator for consumer businesses and retailers. Eventually, commercial success would be based on a keen understanding of customers' needs and wants, as well as innovative product differentiation.
Besides satisfying Asian growing middle class' needs for consumption and convenience, E-commerce also has the ability to uplift small rural economies through means such as connecting local entrepreneurs to the national & international markets, and bringing more diverse product offerings to local markets through a more efficient last mile delivery network. However, E-commerce players in these countries will need patient capital to make necessary infrastructural and logistical investments in order to build a last mile delivery network that can penetrate both urban and rural cities.